Question and Answer

How do I pick a topic for my research assignment?

Selecting a researchable topic can be done through brainstorming, free-writing, or asking questions related to your research assignment.

A. To brainstorm, set a timer for 5 minutes and begin rapidly listing potential ideas. You can put your central idea in the middle of the page and the write whatever words come to you around it. At the end of the set time, draw lines between related ideas as a way of identifying potential topics.

B. To free-write, set a timer for 10 minutes and begin writing or typing whatever comes into your mind. At the end of the set time, go through and underline or highlight potential topics.

C. To use questions as a way to focus, think about your purpose as well as your audience. Think about what you are trying to do (explain, convince, describe, inform?) as well as who you are writing for. What information does your audience need to know?

Try this Mind Mapping activity to brainstorm a topic.

Mind Mapping for Focusing Your Topic

Learn more

To learn more, take a look at: UNC’s Brainstorming Tips and Tools for other brainstorming ideas.

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